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Surgeries Closer to Home

There’s one thing you’re sure to notice when you visit Crowsnest Pass Health Centre- staff are busy.  “In addition to our acute patients, we have 16 surgical days every month,” says Liz Cook, Acute Care Unit Manager. “Yes, it keeps us busy and we’re all happy about that.”

How busy? By the numbers, there were 574 surgical procedures and 501 endoscopic procedures in 2013.  “Surgical procedures include ligament repairs, repairs to knees and shoulders, gall bladder removal, and hernia repair,” Cook says. “Endoscopies include both gastroscopies and colonoscopies, which are usually diagnostic but also include screening. Prevention and early detection is important in that area.”

 That’s still not the whole story, however. “Between 30 and 40 babies are also born here every year, and our teams are able to do C-sections locally if needed. It’s important to families that their babies be delivered in the Pass, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to do that,” Cook adds.

 Over the years, Crowsnest Pass Health Foundation has provided numerous enhancements and equipment for the local surgical suites. “The doctors and staff here are so grateful for the wonderful community support through the foundation,” Cook said. “It’s really kept our surgical program strong so people can have their day procedures done here, much closer to home, rather than having to travel. That’s a huge benefit to patients and families.”  Proceeds from the 2014 Kathy Allsop Memorial Golf Tournament have been earmarked for future surgical upgrades.

 Those 192 surgical days per year are busy not only for surgeons, anaesthetists and OR nurses. “It’s a total team effort on surgical days,” Cook says.  “Admitting staff, housekeeping, everyone’s day becomes a little busier around here. But you know, we wouldn’t have it any other way.”   

Surgery Closer to Home


O.R. nurses Karia Chatterson (on the table), Lisa Gold and Nikki Robertson simulate preparation for a surgical procedure at Crowsnest Pass Health Centre